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Victim of alleged racial abuse told to “button his lip” in future

Victim of alleged racial abuse told to “button his lip” in future

Categories: Latest News

Friday August 26 2016

An alleged victim of racist abuse was handed a conditional discharge and told to “button his lip” or face being hauled before the court in a case heard at Colchester Magistrates Court yesterday.

The Harwich and Manningtree Standard reports on a dispute arising from the sentence handed to a victim convicted of public order offences who was himself a victim of alleged racist abuse.

The paper reports Bilal Zubair, 30, admitted two public order offences for disorderly behaviour on 26 July when he appeared before Colchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday. The court handed him a 12 month conditional discharge and chair of the bench, Alix Mason, told Zubair: “The best way to deal with it in the future is button your lip, just shut it, because if there is another dispute you will be back in the court”.

The court acknowledged Zubair’s claims he was “provoked” with Mason saying, “In this particular case because we consider not only is it a brief incident but there was also an element of provocation so we will deal with it by way of a conditional discharge.”

The ‘provocation’ were claims by Zubair that he and his brother were regularly taunted with racist abuse. Zubair’s brother has since moved away because of the constant abuse he endured each time he went out.

Zubair said that on the day in question he was called “Syrian” and “Paki” by his neighbours. He said the abuse carried on though he asked his neighbours to desist. Zubair alleged the neighbours said “you are what we’re scared of” and “you are a refugee.”

When he challenged his neighbours over the abuse, they called the police. Zubair tried calling the police at the same time and when officers arrived they questioned Zubair but did not record his own claims of racist abuse uttered by those making allegations against him, his lawyer told the court.

Colchester MP Will Quince has now raised questions about the way Essex police dealt with the situation, including why no record of Zubair’s allegations of racist abuse were kept.

Mr Quince said: “The question has got to be put to Essex Police because they should have records of someone who makes a complaint.

“Racial abuse is unacceptable and if reported to police they should act on it and deal with it.

“I don’t agree with the advice given by magistrates.

“People should not take the law into their own hands but they should contact the police and have the confidence they will take it on in the appropriate way.”


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